After a stinging opinion by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in February, NBC has thrown in the towel on its defense of “Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator” in the suicide of a former prosecutor. Louis William Conradt Jr. shot himself after the program accused him of engaging in sexually explicit chats with an adult posing as a child. The program then allegedly pushed for his arrest when he failed to show up at a sting operation.
Conradt’s suicide raised a recurring question over the liability of reality based television shows and talk shows for violence or suicide. For a prior column, click here.
NBC employees swarmed over his house to confront him and pushed for his arrest. Notably, the lawsuit said that a police officer at the scene of the shooting told a Dateline producer: “That’ll make good TV.”
In February, Judge Chin found that a jury could find that NBC “crossed the line from responsible journalism to irresponsible and reckless intrusion into law enforcement.”
The Supreme Court has taken a harsh view of police coordinating with reality shows that result in unreasonable searches or accidents,
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